Residents show up to speak out against Bayview Inn proposal

The owner of the Bayview Inn & Restaurant is proposing splitting the property, which also holds a two-unit home, into two separate parcels. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

A proposal to convert the former Bayview Inn and Restaurant in South Jamesport into five apartment units was met with opposition from nearby residents at a Zoning Board of Appeals hearing last Thursday.

The 19,985-square-foot property’s zoning calls for two-acre residential lots, even though it, and most of the properties in that neighborhood, are well under one acre.

Applicant Richard Mathew is seeking approval to exchange a use that doesn’t conform to zoning with another — something Riverhead’s town code permits.

He’s also requesting permission to transform an existing cottage on the property into a single-family home. The structure currently houses two efficiency apartment units.

The property’s main building dates back to 1860. Before it became a restaurant and seven-room inn a decade ago, it operated for many years as a veterans home.

Mr. Mathew’s application also seeks other variances, including side yard allowances.

William Wismann of Front Street in South Jamesport said during the ZBA meeting that allowing any use beside single-family homes would set a dangerous precedent.

Angela DeVito, president of the Jamesport-South Jamesport Civic Association, said she’s researched the property’s history and has discovered there was a lapse in its previous use of a hotel of more than one year — meaning the current use should no longer be permitted under zoning.

Three other speakers at the meeting also raised concerns over flooding should the parking lot be paved as requested. Adam Grossman, Mr. Mathew’s attorney, said he and his client would be happy to leave the parking lot as is.

The ZBA adjourned the hearing until Jan. 22.